USDA and University of Connecticut collaborate on development of a vaccine against African swine fever

In response to the spread of the virus from its origins in sub-Saharan Africa to other continents, scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the University of Connectict (UConn) have developed cvaccine walkers considered “promising” by independent researchers. The candidate vaccine ASFV-G-ΔMGF was one of those candidates and recently licensed for commercial development by Zoetisa branch of the medical company Pfizer and the largest animal pharmaceutical producer in the world, as reported by the aforementioned university in a statement.

Technology Commercialization Services (TCS) at the University of Connecticut collaborated with USDA to facilitate an agreement that would allow USDA to negotiate licenses with animal health companies such as Zoetis, who can ultimately bring this vaccine to market. TCS works with faculty and researchers to accelerate and facilitate the transformation of UConn’s discoveries into products and services that benefit society.

The doctor. Guillermo Risatti, professor of pathobiology in the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources and director of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (CVMDL), is excited about the potential of the vaccine candidate. The CVMDL is one of UConn Extension’s active service centers working cooperatively with federal and state veterinary agencies to improve disease surveillance and response in the region.

“Over the years, live attenuated vaccines, killed vaccines, and different cocktails of proteins expressed by the virus have been tested as a protective mechanism,” explains Risatti. “But it never materialized in any kind of candidate.”

Risatti, in collaboration with USDA scientists Dr. Manuel Borca and Douglas Gladue, developed this vaccine candidate. The successful development of safe and effective modified live vaccines represents a new frontier in the protection of swine against ASF.

Researchers from Zoetis and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) in Germany have conducted wild boar trials using edible baits containing the vaccine, and in domestic pigs by a more traditional route: muscle injection. Both pathways demonstrated the efficacy of immunization against PPA.

“Taken together, our findings confirm that ‘ASF-G-ΔMGF’ is a very promising vaccine candidate that could find its way into well-organized and controlled immunization campaigns,” the Zoetis and FLI researchers write in a peer-reviewed article. in the magazine Pathogens.

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